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Sanders writes: "This country faces more serious problems today than at any time in modern history, and establishment politics will not successfully resolve them."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Charlie Leight/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Charlie Leight/Getty Images)

Let Me Be Very Blunt and Tell You Why I Am Running

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

28 July 15


et me be very blunt and tell you why I am running.

This country faces more serious problems today than at any time in modern history, and establishment politics will not successfully resolve them.

Corporate greed is rampant, and the very rich keep growing richer while everyone else grows poorer. Despite an explosion in technology and a huge increase in productivity, the middle class continues to disappear, most Americans work longer hours for lower wages, and 45 million live in poverty.

The skyrocketing level of income and wealth inequality is not only grotesque and immoral, it is economically unsustainable. It is unconscionable that 99% of all new income goes to the top 1%. It is absurd that the top one-tenth of 1% own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, and that one family (the Waltons of Walmart) has more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans.

As a result of the disastrous Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, the billionaire class is spending huge amounts of money to buy candidates and elections. We are now witnessing the undermining of American democracy and the rapid movement toward oligarchy where a handful of very wealthy families and their Super PACs will control our government.

The scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and is already bringing catastrophic damage to our planet. Yet, the Republican Party is prepared to reject science in order to gain campaign contributions from the Koch brothers, Big Energy companies and others who make billions on fossil fuels. If we do not act boldly on climate change, the planet we leave to our grandchildren may be uninhabitable.

The United States once led the world in terms of the percentage of our young people who had college degrees. Today, in a highly competitive global economy, we are now in 12th place. Hundreds of thousands of bright young people have given up on the dream of higher education, while millions of others leave school with oppressive debt.

Our infrastructure -- roads, bridges, rail, airports, water systems, wastewater plants, levees, dams -- is crumbling, and Congress refuses to appropriate anywhere near the necessary funds to rebuild it. If we do not invest substantially in infrastructure, a bad situation will only become much worse.

Despite substantial gains, we still have a long way to go to achieve equality for minorities. Instead of investing in opportunities, we are locking people up at an incredible rate. We now have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world with over 2 million in prison and millions more on probation or parole. We have a broken immigration system that divides families and keeps millions of hard-working people in the shadows.

Most of the major Wall Street financial institutions that we bailed out because they were "too big to fail," are now bigger than they used to be. The six largest financial institutions now have assets equivalent to nearly 60% of our GDP, issue 35% of the mortgages, and oversee 65% of credit cards.

Our tax system is wildly unfair - rigged to benefit the very rich. Major corporations that earn billions in profits stash their money in tax havens and pay nothing in federal income taxes, while billionaire hedge fund managers pay a lower effective tax rate than nurses or teachers.

Despite growing poverty among seniors, almost all Republicans, and some Democrats, want to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans. They want more austerity for the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, and more tax breaks for the rich.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The United States spends more on the military than the next nine biggest-spending countries combined. Today, there are massive cost over-runs with defense contractors and the Pentagon cannot even pass an independent audit.

We are at a moment of truth. We need to face up to the reality of where we are as a nation, and we need a mass movement of people to change that reality.

Let's be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It's about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: "Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires."

I have discussed some of the major crises that we face. Let me give you the outline of an agenda which addresses these problems.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The truth is that real unemployment in our country is not the "official" and widely-reported 5.4 percent. Counting those who are underemployed and those who have given up looking for work, real unemployment is almost 11 percent. Even more disturbingly, real unemployment for white and Hispanic youth is over 30 percent, while African-American youth unemployment is over 50 percent.

We need a major federal jobs program. The most effective way to do that is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. To do that, I have introduced legislation which would invest $1 trillion over 5 years to modernize our country's physical infrastructure. This would create and maintain at least 13 million good-paying jobs. It would also make our country more productive, efficient and safe.

As a member of Congress who voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China (PNTR) and is helping to lead the opposition against the TPP, I will continue my opposition to trade policies which have cost us millions of decent paying jobs as corporate America shuts down plants here and moves them to low-wage countries.

Raising Wages: Today, millions of Americans are working for starvation wages and median family income has declined by almost $5,000 since 1999. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is totally inadequate. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage - $15 an hour over the next few years. Our goal must be that no full-time worker in this country lives in poverty. We must also bring about pay equity for women. There is no rational reason why women should be earning 78 cents on the dollar compared to men who perform the same work.

Further, we need to implement "family values" for American working families. It is unacceptable that the United States is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee family and medical leave, sick time and paid vacations.

Wealth and Income Inequality: Today, the richest 400 Americans own over $2.2 trillion in wealth, more than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. Meanwhile, nearly half of all Americans have less than $10,000 in savings and have no idea how they will be able to retire with dignity.

In order to reverse the massive transfer of wealth and income from the middle class to the very rich that we have seen in recent years, we need real tax reform which makes the wealthy and profitable corporations begin to pay their fair share of taxes. It is fiscally irresponsible that the U.S. Treasury loses about $100 billion a year because corporations and the rich stash their profits in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other tax havens.

We need a tax system which is fair and progressive. Children should not go hungry in this country while profitable corporations and the wealthy avoid their tax responsibilities.

Reforming Wall Street: I have introduced legislation which would break up the largest financial institutions in the country. In my view, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself investing trillions in risky financial instruments. We need banks that invest in the job-creating productive economy. We do not need more speculation and gambling in casino-type activities.

Campaign Finance Reform: We need to return to a one-person, one-vote democracy. It is not acceptable that the Koch brothers and other billionaires are spending endless sums of money to buy elections. I have introduced legislation which would overturn the horrendous Citizens United decision and will only appoint Supreme Court justices who are prepared to do that. We must also demand disclosure of all large campaign contributions. Long term, we need to move to public funding of elections.

Fighting Climate Change: The United States must lead the world in reversing climate change and make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. We must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized, our transportation system needs to be energy efficient and we need to greatly accelerate the progress we are already seeing in wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of sustainable energy. Transforming our energy system will not only protect the environment, it will create good-paying jobs.

Health Care for All: The United States remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for all as a right. Despite the modest gains of the Affordable Care Act, 35 million Americans continue to lack health insurance and many more are under-insured. Yet, we continue paying far more per capita for health care than any other nation. The United States must move toward a Medicare-for-All single-payer system.

Protecting Our Most Vulnerable: Today, the United States has more people living in poverty than at almost any time in the modern history of our country. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major nation, and millions of seniors and people with disabilities struggle to put food on the table because of insufficient Social Security benefits.

In my view, we have a moral responsibility to make certain that no American goes hungry or sleeps on the street. We must also make certain that seniors and people with disabilities can live in dignity. Not only must we vigorously oppose Republican attacks on the social safety net, we must expand benefits for those most in need. That is why I have recently introduced legislation which would extend the solvency of Social Security until 2065, while increasing benefits for those most in need.

Expanding Opportunity and Equality: We need to stop using prisons as a response to poverty. Our criminal justice system needs to be reformed so that we do not continue to house non-violent offenders at huge expense when that money could be used to rebuild communities and create opportunity. We need federal leadership to reform policing in America, to end racial profiling, and to fight the illegal activities of hate groups. We need comprehensive immigration reform that protects families and leads to a responsible and realistic path to citizenship.

Dismantling Structural Racism: Throughout much of our history, the elite in America has divided people along racial lines in an effort to consolidate wealth and power. We need to simultaneously address the structural and institutional racism which exists in this country while at the same time vigorously attacking the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality which is making the very rich much richer, and everyone else - especially the African-American community - much poorer. Meanwhile, too many people of color in this country find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes like criminals. We have more people locked up in jail than any other country on earth. We need to invest in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration. Finally, no person should have to worry that a routine interaction with law enforcement will end in violence and death. Black lives matter: we must reform our criminal justice system, move away from the militarization of police forces, and invest in community policing.

College for All: The United States must join Germany and many other countries in understanding that investing in our young people's education is investing in the future of our nation. I have introduced legislation to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lowering interest rates on student loans.

War and Peace: I voted against the war in Iraq, and that was the right vote. We must be vigorous in combatting terrorism, but we can't do it alone. We must be part of an international coalition that includes Muslim nations which not only defeats ISIS but which works hard to create conditions for lasting peace. I will vigorously oppose an endless war in the Middle East.

My approach to campaigning is pretty simple and straight-forward. We hold a lot of public meetings in towns that are big and small. People ask questions and make comments. We discuss the important issues facing our country. And that's it. Nothing very fancy. It's called democracy and I like that approach very much. It's something I've done my whole political life.

I hope very much that you will join me at one of our meetings. I hope that you will become part of our campaign team. And I hope that you will watch our video and make a contribution to our campaign:

Let us never forget: This country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.


Senator Bernie Sanders

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+118 # jimmyjames 2015-07-28 09:20
Please be careful, Bernie. The military/indust rial/banking establishments don't want democracy in the United States. They will do everything in their unlimited power to stop you from becoming President. Everything and anything....
+57 # gdsharpe 2015-07-28 09:36
And if they do, it will be proof of everything Bernie is saying, and proof that you, jimmyjames, are right.
+11 # CelticNavigator 2015-07-28 11:36
Great stuff here indeed, Bernie! But you will soon have to widen your scope beyond class warfare to include a multiplicity of issues. This is because for 70 years now, America has been an EMPIRE, not just a nation.

I have stated before in RSN that because we are an empire, viable Democratic - and Democratic Socialist - presidential candidates here have to pass muster for the 'Best of the West' Bilderberg Group. A damned inconvenient truth, but it is a truth.

In furtherance of your aims I recently told RSN readers that my next loose-cannon RSN "Writing for Godot" essay (click on my photo for list to date) would be titled "An Open Letter to 'The Best of the West' Bilderberg Group in Support of Senator Sanders." In that essay I will endeavor to convince them, some of whom are leaders of Northern European nations that have successfully employed Democratic Socialism, that it is indeed time for a REAL change.

Also, for evolutionary genetic reasons, not for Zionist reasons, since I am a gentile Atheist, I will point out that Ashkenasi Jews like you and so many powerful Bilderbergers have higher I.Q.s than any other genetic haplotype. IMHO that should be considered a plus for any prospective Helmsman for the American Ship of State that is an aircraft carrier, not a rowboat.

Self-educated Lincoln's I.Q. was about 160, and with humor and strength he bent many powerful and brilliant men to his will. Advice: Learn to laugh in a crossfire hurricane shit storm, Senator!
-14 # REDPILLED 2015-07-28 11:59
When Bernie says he will oppose the U.S. global Empire, its omnicidal nuclear weapons, and its support for apartheid, war-criminal Israel, I will support him.
+18 # CelticNavigator 2015-07-28 12:46
Okay... who would you vote for if the election was tomorrow? Believe me - I wish political realities on the ground were not as harsh as they are. I was once a new voter at age 21, and was every bit as naive as you are, my friend. But now I am 60 and have learned the hard way the difference between shit and Shinola, the same way that Steve Martin does by stepping in it in this 30-second educational video:

You see, before Bernie could possibly help in doing away with nukes eventually (no president can do that on his own), he has to become president FIRST. To become president in the real world, a viable candidate has to show that he/she has the guts -or the requisite amount of homicidal madness - to actually USE nukes in a worst case DEFENSIVE, not offensive, scenario.

Perhaps several years from now, if we naked killer apes have managed to govern our basest instincts by then, candidates for the presidency of the most powerful nation on Earth will not have to prove that they can and will use our full military might - again in a defensive way - but until then, that is the shit we most certainly have to deal with, my friend. Peace Out!

P.S. - I have said this before - I don't write posts seeking "likes." Time is way too short and realities are way too ugly for self-congratula ting pats on the back. There is too much serious and urgent work to be done for that!
+34 # Citizen Mike 2015-07-28 13:48
When Bernie says he will oppose the U.S. global Empire, its omnicidal nuclear weapons, and its support for apartheid, war-criminal Israel, I will support him.

If you hold out for everything you want you will get nothing. Bernie represents most of everything we want and is our best shot at improving our national situation. Help to get him elected for all the points with which you agree and then you can publicly campaign to influence him on other issues. Watch the donut, not the hole!
+20 # Inspired Citizen 2015-07-28 14:34
To help get him the Dem. Party nomination, we need 1,000,000+ people to take the Bernie or bust pledge.

+19 # tedrey 2015-07-28 15:10
Total agreement. Bernie has intelligently been pushing those positions that a majority of the public already want. That doesn't mean that he doesn't realize other more controversial policies will be vital, only that he knows he shouldn't incite, say, the pro-war contingent against him until he has the strongest possible grassroots commitment on his most popular stands.
+14 # Merlin 2015-07-28 16:16
tedrey 2015-07-28 15:10

There you go again! Stealing my comment while I'm busy writing elsewhere! SPOT ON!

This is the most critical point that is being overlooked by reluctant Bernie supporters. He will have plenty of time to address and be questioned on his foreign policy issues AFTER he has created a strong following. This is the early campaign agenda.

As in chess there will be a middle game and an end game that follow. All three stages are different in agenda and scope, and must be understood and played accordingly. In order to win, all three parts of the agenda must be strong, and understanding when and how to switch to the next level is crucial!

I believe that Bernie's experience and understanding of the total game is at the Grandmaster (like in chess at the top) level. He will transition the next stages easily during the debates, and will be the winner with the people.
+7 # CelticNavigator 2015-07-29 05:16
Merlin - you, tedrey, and Inspired are right, of course. I just wanted to give Bernie supporters a bit of a head's up so they aren't shell shocked in future. I'll start on my dainty little missive to the Bilderbergers in an hour after I wake up a bit. I will take more time than usual on it, because I don't think the Bilderbergers saw Bernie coming, and I want to mitigate his impact on their "old money" sensibilities.

The only thing I would reiterate to Bernie personally is that when, not if, things get so chaotic and insane that even the most powerful and brilliant of men are helpless, it is utterly futile to beat one's head bloody and insensible against an unyielding wall more than a few times to test it's strength. THIS is when wise leaders follow the example of Lincoln and today's Dalai Lama by letting go and surrendering to peals and gales of laughter in order reduce their "centers of gravity" and to temporarily become ONE with the gale of chaos that surrounds them.

Embrace the storm. Howl with the wolves. Let your ancestors speak in their several tongues to you. Take it all into yourself. Then, and only then, can you BECOME the storm when your back is against the wall in your next encounter with chaos. The CIA, Skull and Bones, etc., employ the philosophy of "constructive chaos" to great effect, so it is advisable to learn how to embrace and then unleash some constructive chaos of your own.
+10 # jon 2015-07-28 15:33
Some people vote based on their emotions. That is how the Republicans maintain their position.
-17 # Stilldreamin1 2015-07-28 19:18
Until he does, his domestic agenda rings hollow.
-16 # Stilldreamin1 2015-07-28 19:22
He has billed himself as a man governed by principle. We need to know what shape those vaunted principles would take in the foreign policy arena.
+32 # tedrey 2015-07-28 10:02
So we must show ASOP that millions of us understand these needs, agree with them, and can raise numerous standard bearers to carry them out. Nothing will protect Bernie himself more than making it clear that any harm to him would not quench our flames but enhance them; that hundreds of Bernies would stand in his place. Bernie knows this when he says it's not about him; it's about his spirit and his dreams and goals -- making them ours.
+15 # Merlin 2015-07-28 16:27
tedrey 2015-07-28 10:02

Another excellent perspective! When was the last time a candidate has come to us, The People, and said what you have just pointed out?

"hundreds of Bernies would stand in his place!"

What a concept! This is the power of Bernie that often gets lost in talking about details!
+27 # HowardMH 2015-07-28 10:27
Yes jimmy, and the voters have got to get out there and VOTE for Bernie in record numbers. Anything less shows everyone just how stupid the American people really are. "Hope I am wrong on that part".
+10 # citizen2009 2015-07-28 16:11
Quoting jimmyjames:
Please be careful, Bernie. The military/industrial/banking establishments don't want democracy in the United States. They will do everything in their unlimited power to stop you from becoming President. Everything and anything....

What do you mean by being careful? Being blunt is the only way to mobilize you and me and the others who want this country fixed after 40 years of neglect.

Yes there is a probability, that Bernie might have a fatal accident, when he gets to close to the White House or short after that. We have to face this threat and live with it till we succeed
+31 # bingers 2015-07-28 09:39
Nobody else deserves your vote.
+63 # mikehz 2015-07-28 09:42
This is one of the most concise, comprehensive, and thoughtful summaries that I've read describing the needs of our country. I applaud Bernie's dedication, insight, and courage in articulating what we should welcome as a platform for our future
+44 # gdsharpe 2015-07-28 09:45
-70 # 2015-07-28 09:48
Ya gotta love 'im. Ol Bernie....heart of gold, blustery, insistent on people having a good life. As a Conservative, I just love the guy.

Now, his plans WILL WORK, until he runs out of people to subjugate and to tax under the cloak and dagger of the Federal Government. Well, then there's the requirement that the U.S. government must borrow money from the private bank, Federal Reserve Bank. It's impossible to borrow one's way out of debt.

Well, it's we love him anyway !
+67 # Wally Jasper 2015-07-28 10:36
His plan is to tax corporations and billionaires who are now freeloading off the backs of the American people. This is called the restoration of Democracy.
-6 # Krackonis 2015-07-28 13:13
Just remove the Federal Reserve and become a free country again? Isn't that what the goal is?
+17 # warrior woman 2015-07-28 14:00
The US Govt signed away making their own currency in 1913 to the Federal Reserve. Yes, our currency is debt based, however, governments are not households and do run on debt. In fact, our govt spends about 60% of its revenues on war and the apparatus for war, although to find the tallies, one must look at many different departments such as the Pentagon, Homeland Security, etc. A good place to look for that is National Priority Project to get the breakdowns.

Really, you should quit watching FOX and use your time to investigate the truth, and truth as in not the biblical type.
+5 # Doggone 2015-07-28 15:10
You don't think the 'cloak and dagger' Corporate overlords will run out of people to manipulate and steal from first?
+11 # Merlin 2015-07-28 16:32
Listen folks, moafu is an evangelical conservative by his own admission. There is no point in arguing with him. Just let him rant and ignore him.

He is not making honest comments here. Comments like this are pure trolling.
+10 # CL38 2015-07-28 23:17
here's moafu@yahoo again projecting onto Bernie the all=consuming Republican intent to subjugate us all.

"Its impossible to borrow one's way out of debt." Tell that to George W. Bush and other Republican Presidents whose spending ran the country into a deficit.
+17 # NJ RaceClassGenderJusticeActivist 2015-07-28 09:52
Here's SOME of what Bernie needs to add:
A big piece missing here is: Women's (and family) issues related to economics:
FIRST: Raise the federal tipped minimum wage from $2.17 an hour to at least $7.00 an hour. Over 70% of workers in the "tipped wage" category are women. Very insecure incomes. 2. Family-friendly policies such as: required guaranteed sick pay and required guaranteed paid maternity and paternity leave.
Also: protecting women's reproductive health rights and access. Come on Bernie, women are half the population and you're running against a woman. These are important issues. Get with the program!
+5 # jdd 2015-07-28 10:24
If anything has been learned since George H.W. Bush it's that to be successful, the Democrat candidate needs to avoid focusing on the hot-button issues that divide the 99%.One of those is anthropogenic man-made global warming. Another is the so-called "women's issues." Leave those to an increasingly defensive Hillary who will fade away based upon her failure to support Glass-Steagall and her endorsement of Obama's provocative war policies toward Russia and China.
+25 # Wally Jasper 2015-07-28 10:42
He actually does address women's issues quite strongly in his "family values" shpiel. He is taking back this long misused phrase from the right-wing nuts and applying it now to women's rights, children's rights, and family rights to adequate pay, vacation time, free college education, etc. The women's rights he specifically addresses include the right to make decisions concerning their bodies, right to equal pay for equal work, removal of glass ceilings, etc. These are all Bernie's "family values."
+23 # guomashi 2015-07-28 10:03
I am hoping for a Sanders - Trump contest.
Then we can know on Election Day whether or not America will survive or commit the most inane of all conceivable suicides.
Otherwise, two more paper cutout suits wanking at each other will only prolong the inevitable demise-by-graft we are already sauntering through.
-33 # MidwestTom 2015-07-28 10:27
I have no problem with a plant to rebuild our infrastructure, but have you seen a highway paving crew lately? I do not know if they are legal residents or illegals, but around here they are all Mexican. In the time of the New Deal highway construction was a lot more manual than today. Granted that we need some construction, but in general evan a financially challenged state like Illinois is keeping their road in pretty good shape.

As we automate more and more jobs, we need fewer and fewer people.
+33 # Wally Jasper 2015-07-28 10:53
Excuse me, Tom, but people who look Mexican and who speak Spanish may very well be American. Remember America the melting pot? We Americans are not just white-skinned European looking types. And if they are Mexicans, that's OK too.
+11 # Anonymot 2015-07-28 11:09
You struck a subject that's very big, but little discussed. We need fewer workers to accomplish the same production because of automation. Just walk into your supermarket & see all of the self-checkouts or fill your own tank at the gas pump, etc. No one talks about that. So when we have illegal immigrants doing the menial work and robots doing a lot of it, there's a major problem that we don't want to face. It's complex and it defies the graphics of our fuzzy minded economists.
+14 # djnova50 2015-07-28 14:57
Tom, to remind you, Mexicans are American. They are citizens of Mexico which is one of the North American countries. Having said that, in the city where I live there are three Mexican-style restaurants. All of the employees are as United States citizens, as American as you and I.
-6 # MidwestTom 2015-07-28 10:31
I have frequently commented against increased immigration, especially the illegal kind, because the more workers available the lower the wages. The Republicans must be think that some limits may be imposed. Here is the answer:

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has proposed two bills that would add substantially to the millions of foreign visas already annually distributed by the United States. One of those bills, the SKILLS Visa Act, would increase foreign worker visas for technology corporations. The other bill, the Agricultural Guestworker “AG” Act, would increase foreign worker visas issued to food manufacturers who wield substantial influence within the modern Republican Party. Since Goodlatte’s foreign workers would arrive on visas, Republican donors who own businesses would be able to legally replace Americans workers with these newcomers.

You can't get more blunt an argument against immigration than the above text.
+9 # Wally Jasper 2015-07-28 11:02
Well, if the minimum wage gets increased to $15, as Bernie is proposing, then these businesses won't bother importing their workers since they'll have to pay them the same as Americans.

Anyway, I like Rep. Goodlatte's name. I hope he's enjoying his good latte this morning.
-11 # MidwestTom 2015-07-28 12:38
The $15/hr. will encourage more automatic, and result in fewer jobs, but those with jobs will benefit. We already know McDonald's answer, replace cashiers with computers.
-5 # Douglas Jack 2015-07-28 13:15
Midwest Tom, As we've shared before, McDonald's & all other corporations, companies etc. must be required to enable multi-stakehold er Participation for: Worker, Supplier, Consumer & Founder investment. Workers must be give the tax equivalent options for a Registered Employee Stock-Investmen t-Plan. Immediately all workers can be given Compensation plans which include: shares, salary, social-security benefits & other equivalencies. Its a matter of understanding about how to work with collective human intelligence. Economic Democracy can be a powerful engine.

In the framework of developing invested interest for all stakeholders, then we animate the collective intelligence of our society. Humans are more sophisticated than computers, when we correlate experience with decision-making acumen & governance. With collective intelligence & animation of local food resources, McDonalds for example can transform from an artery clogger of cancer, strokes & heart-attacks into a profitable health resource for the whole community.
0 # MidwestTom 2015-07-28 13:55
Jack, that is a good idea, and it may work great in a big company, but since most jobs in America are still with small companies, and since in order to borrow money the banks require that the owner personally guarantee any loans to the company. Stakeholders i small companies are limited to those with enough assets to back up company loans. A description that gets few employees.

Our firm does have a profit sharing plan, however, in years like last year there is no bonus earned since there was no profit. We did still give everybody $100 because we know that they had come to expect something. Not sure what this year will be. Competition has lowered prices.
0 # Douglas Jack 2015-07-28 22:47
MidwestTom, We both agree not to quibble about money which small businesses don't have at any moment. We do agree we want to build intelligent teams of talented diverse stakeholders to build & transform businesses upon which communities can plan their human & physical resource development on their own terms.

All the best for having a profit sharing program in your own company. I've helped develop participation in Pulp & Paper. Presently I collaborate with an investor whose major criteria for the past 40 years of investment has been participation by multiple stakeholders, who's done quite well supporting & promoting participation. Founders, Workers, Suppliers & Consumers are given options to invest particular contributions of expertise, resources, labour, goods, services & patronage as well as money.

It's important for banks to have stakeholder statements of commitment & involvement for loans, but most projects can be funded without banks from within stakeholder capacities. When big funds are needed, leverage of stakeholder moneys is enormous.

I'm working with a team on participatory cohousing at a number of urban & rural sites. If corporations plan for participation in their industrial & commercial operations, then adding domestic dwelling complexes of excellence for stakeholder families develops friendships, closer relations & deeper holistic planning. Domestic economies are huge.
-41 # ecoforestree 2015-07-28 10:40
Sounds just like all the promises the Liar and Thief Obama made during his campaigns. And we found out the truth about that warmonger the hard way. Twenty-five years in Congress and what does Bernie have to show for it--not a damn thing. All bark and no bite!

The only serious candidate for President in either party is US Senator Rand Paul who works every day to pass bills to end dirty US foreign wars, end the Drug war, shut down the corrupt banking industry and private Fed, free oppressed prisoners in toxic prison industry (mostly minorities), and cut trillions in corporate welfare rip-offs.

Please take a serious look at Rand Paul and his effective work. Don't rely on political pundits. Listen to Rand Paul's speeches (including his 11 hour filibuster against the Patriot Act). Do some real research. Support Rand Paul--end the corporate control and endless wars.
+16 # PCPrincess 2015-07-28 11:21
OH, except for that little tidbit about wasting taxpayer money to attempt to de-fund Planned-Parenth ood. Not only is that a completely moronic move, but shows that he believes he must cave to the illiterate masses in order to gain a few percentage points in popularity before the Fox Noise clown-car show. I'd like to remind everyone that there is no such thing as a 'Government'. This, so called entity, is actually PEOPLE. Yes, U.S. citizens and our fellow neighbors all whom happen to be employed by another U.S. citizen with a title that allows them to hire/fire and endorse pay-checks. WE ARE OUR GOVERNMENT. We do not need to rid ourselves of government, we must rid ourselves of completely corrupt, moronic, greedy, and self-centered human beings that happen to be employed within this group of citizens. Human beings are not perfect creatures; in fact, we are quite faulty. We thrive in communities and require swift kicks to the ass to keep in line. A healthy, functioning, NON-CORRUPT governing body is essential to ensure that all the human beings in a community can live amongst themselves and that every single citizen has the basic needs of survival. Mr. Rand doesn't seem to get that. Many Americans have always been provided for and are just not in touch with the reality of living for many of us. Empathy is something that grows alongside pain.
-19 # ecoforestree 2015-07-28 11:43
PCP--It is clear you have done ZERO research about Rand Paul--his excellent work opposing US wars, illegal government spying on ALL citizens and corporate-contr olled banking system ripping off trillions. Let me know when you learn how to do some independent research and stop babbling about mundane theories and the idiocy reported by the corporate-contr olled media. In the meantime, try laying off the hard drugs.
+1 # Douglas Jack 2015-07-28 12:23
ecoforestree, If your message isn't getting across from what you write, provide web-links & more web-links, which back up your statements here. I'm impressed by Rand's filibuster against the Patriot Act and like his father Ron, some of Rand's anti-war work.

Like PCP I'm not impressed by the gaps in Rand Paul's economic plan, which flow from father Ron's inattention to details. Ron for example was placing emphasis on 'volunteer-syst ems' for essential citizen health & well-being. America & other colonial states of the earth such as Canada need to address the issue of our origins. Colonists committed genocide against First Nations to steal this land. 1st Nation as well as Celtic & other worldwide 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generatin g') heritage are antecedents to both dysfunctional capitalism & socialism. Capital & social, right & left wings are integrated complementary factors necessary in order for a society to fly. If ecological-econ omic refugees from war-torn Europe had immigrated instead of violently invading both America & the whole world, we would all be living in peace & abundance today.
"In the meantime, try laying off the 'degrading statements"
+9 # CL38 2015-07-28 23:19
He's against women's reproductive rights, equal pay and equality for all. Guess that doesn't matter to you, but it does to the 51%..
+1 # Douglas Jack 2015-07-29 20:35
Ecoforestry, I didn't realize what a terror Rand Paul is until your comment, PCPrincess response & finding Rand's 'Stand with Israel' atrocious statement made after Israel's recent massacre in Gaza. I didn't realize how Rand is owned by AIPAC, Mossad, Hasbara & Likud.

Rand's cowardice in the face of oligarch supplies of political advertising money is in direct opposition to his father Ron Paul's many statements chastising Israel's control of the US Congress.

All the world needs is another Rothschild paid for canned politician.
+22 # bbaldwin2001 2015-07-28 10:46
Bernie Sanders is the only candidate making sense.....and not making a fool of himself. Do we really want corn head TRUMP for President. He wouldn't last a month, too much work for him. I will vote for Bernie for sure....
+3 # Saberoff 2015-07-28 11:01
I wonder if Bernie shouldn't start thinking about a good bumper-sticker catch-phrase: one that will instill HOPE for the future (Ya, I know - but that IS what tripped it for The Bummer). And to give these positive images equal time in his speeches.

People like positive messages. Bernie speaks about the dire reality America faces, all of it true, but perhaps we should be seeking something to lift spirits and inspire people.

People Need a sense that things can and will be OK again, under a Bernie presidency.

Who among us can come up with a good, Uplifting (wonderfully short) slogan?
+1 # Saberoff 2015-07-28 17:41
Do the Bernie Buzz! (new dance sensation).

(Couldn't resist).
0 # Douglas Jack 2015-07-28 11:07
Thanks Bernie for being explicit about your policies & underlying governance philosophy. Those of us who are sick with US, Canadian, NATO & Israel bloodshed destabilization , funding arming of mercenaries in nations worldwide for resource & geo-political gain also want you to address:
1) Moves towards resolution of US colonial genocide & violation of 1st Nation sovereignty. We need to align with the true national ecological-econ omic sovereignty here in order to go forward as a nation.
2) your support of Israel before, during & after the last horrific bombing of Gaza with the targeted deaths of 1000s of civilians for genocidal cleansing of non-Jews.
3) Finance-Media-E ducation-Milita ry-Industrial-L egislative-Comp lex perpetual-war machine. If you can't make this statement because you would be targeted then talk about the dangers politicians face when trying to be honest about the puppet-masters. At least repeat what Dwight Eisenhower was able to tell us about the Military-Indust rial-Complex. Obama's election lies to the population & world then constant bombing & killing people in Islamic states of the Middle-east according to dictates of Israel's Oded-Yinon (PNAC & NWO) plan for a Greater Israel means that we all need very explicit election statements. The Zionist Plan for the Middle East The Infamous "Oded Yinon Plan". Introduction by Michel Chossudovsky
-2 # James Marcus 2015-07-28 13:36
Ending Citizens United or 'Corporate Person-hood' will not stop the Flow of $-for-Influence ; Only change The Routing!
Moreover, it is the Recipients who need Censure, not the Donors.
Corporations are designed to maximize profits for their Owners. Period, By Charter.
The Peoples' Representatives , and their Regulator-Appoi ntees, are the ones selling us down the track, betraying their moral, and Legal, guidelines and obligations.
I say, No Political Contributions, cash or perks, ever, to any office-holder.
Appropriate pay , and benefits, for Office-Holders. Term Limits. Public Service is NOT a career.
+7 # lfeuille 2015-07-28 16:43
Quoting James Marcus:
Ending Citizens United or 'Corporate Person-hood' will not stop the Flow of $-for-Influence; Only change The Routing!
Moreover, it is the Recipients who need Censure, not the Donors.
Corporations are designed to maximize profits for their Owners. Period, By Charter.
The Peoples' Representatives, and their Regulator-Appointees, are the ones selling us down the track, betraying their moral, and Legal, guidelines and obligations.
I say, No Political Contributions, cash or perks, ever, to any office-holder.
Appropriate pay , and benefits, for Office-Holders. Term Limits. Public Service is NOT a career.

Both the recipients and donors deserve censure. You are setting up a false choice where it is not necessary to choose. In my opinion, the donors are worse. There actions have made it harder for candidates to succeed without their money. And when they become beholden to corporate donors. The result is that candidates that would vote to curb their power cannot get elected in large enough numbers to change the system and make corporations responsible for the common good as well as shareholder profit.
+4 # Saberoff 2015-07-28 17:48
States grant charters. Rescind!

Agree with all private money out. Agree with Publicly Funded Elections. Agree with pay and benefits.

I disagree with term limits. If/when we finally get a good guy, why say "You have to leave office now!" Besides, we already have term limits: they're called elections. We must educate Americans. As it is, we must win in that arena.
+10 # Robbee 2015-07-28 14:29
bernie can worry less about personal safety, his mission statement threatens a far more dangerous, to the 1%, poison pill, in bernie's words : "Long term, we need to move to public funding of elections."

public funding robs the 1% of all their power, which is solely financial - public funding means no candidate, just to keep their job, ever again has to beg the 1% for campaign funds - public funding levels the playing field - no congressperson need ever again spend the vast majority, or any, of their time listening to bad ideas that only benefit a billionaire, or his global corporation, at the expense of us 99% - as a political structure that benefits the 1% at the expense of us 99%, the zomblican party will cease to exist, it will have to reform for the benefit of its voter-base, anti-choice, anti-women, anti-black, latino, union, worker, senior, vet, etc., coalition of haters, suddenly bereft of financial support

if he gets past the primary, bernie's '16 campaign will be deluged by negative attack ads - so, if he loses the election after being massively outspent, we can all start working for the "revolutionary" , his word, change that restores our democracy

think about it, what does the 1% fear? they fear the loss of all their overwhelming power in our only-world-powe r democracy - they fear bernie becoming prez much less than the cost of a constitutional amendment that ends all their power - public funding, only, of all federal, state and local elections! go bernie!
+11 # James Marcus 2015-07-28 14:29
Bernie is the only one...who will not March to The Beat of the Military Industrial Drummer. The Rest, from A to Z, will only 'keep in line' for The Big Money which is really 'behind it all' (OK, Trump has his own)
The US has become the Real Global Terrorist, instigating, themselves, (and instigating others, as well) 'Eternal Fighting'. The Big Money is in the (Unaudited) Arms Budget/ Industry. And All the 'pay-offs' line pockets, to keep this Monster rolling, and destroying the Environment, as well as each-other, as 'They' laugh themselves all the way to the (emptied) Banks
+16 # Robbee 2015-07-28 14:45
ecoforestree, libertarians be crazy - without government regs, carefully and courageously enforced, the free market gives us 1929 and 2008, count on it, libertarians be crazy!
+13 # lfeuille 2015-07-28 16:47
Quoting Robbee:
ecoforestree, libertarians be crazy - without government regs, carefully and courageously enforced, the free market gives us 1929 and 2008, count on it, libertarians be crazy!

Right Robbee. There has to be an adversarial relationship between gov't regulators and business or they will walk all over us. The relationship has gotten too cozy.
+8 # Street Level 2015-07-28 22:16
Over 75,000 have signed up to attend Bernies kickoff tomorrow night, July 29.
When Bernie says "they've got the bucks but we have the people", he means it!
+1 # banichi 2015-07-30 10:36
I went to the kickoff last night. It was a total of 100,000 people in 3500 meetings nation wide, and it was inspiring! As usual with Bernie's meetings, it got completely overwhelmed on the day of the meetings, the one I went to had 12 people signed up on the 28th, then was maxed out at 40 on the day of the meeting!

There was a high school student there, 17 years old, who had been taking part in campaigns since he was 12. He said he hopes to get as many as 60 high school students from his school to participate in the campaign. He also said that he has seen young high school students talking to their parents about the issues Bernie addresses. I am in awe of that kind of early commitment from the next generation.

This young man was from from my own high school where I graduated in 1965. At that time, I had never thought of doing what he was obviously committed to pursuing. Incredibly inspiring.

Bernie has changed the conversation with his candidacy. He reaches out to everyone when he says it is not about him, but about us. What we want. What we see needs to be addressed. And he has been saying the same things for his entire political career. It is just that his candidacy, with what he represents, is an idea whose time has come. He would not be having so many people show up to his meetings if that were not so.

What he represents is what many of us have been waiting and hoping for.

Go Bernie!!
+8 # Walter J Smith 2015-07-28 22:28
"The scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and is already bringing catastrophic damage to our planet. Yet, the Republican Party is prepared to reject science in order to gain campaign contributions from the Koch brothers, Big Energy companies and others who make billions on fossil fuels. If we do not act boldly on climate change, the planet we leave to our grandchildren may be uninhabitable."

Meanwhile, Hillary postures rhetorically and a split hair's distance to the left of Donald Trump and calls that an enviromental policy. And the NYTimes brags on her behalf about how radical a lefty she is.

Wall Street is smiling.
0 # truthrat 2015-08-03 09:07
I fear Bernie is too soft on Israel. You can find some videos that show how he regards Israel, and from that, I'd describe him as a "good Jew," meaning he supports the validity of a Jewish State existing on stolen Palestinian land, and he appears in favor of continuing the status-quot concerning US unconditional support for Israel. Israel is a major foreign policy issue for the US, one that the powerful Jewish Lobby has almost complete control of. The consequences have been deplorable loss of blood and treasure, and most of us know all this. Despite my concerns on this issue, I'm still supporting Bernie, giving him the benefit of doubt, because Israel is a dangerous issue for him, as it is for any US politician, because of the power of Zionism. My hopes are that he needs time and space to formulate a just moral attitude towards the Palestinians and their horrible, 100 year struggle against Zionist Jews. At some point, we progressives must pressure Bernie to be morally fair to the Palestinians, though I don't have a clear idea of when to do this.

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